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The Beer Colomn

Ok, I admit it; I’m running a little low on ideas for “The Beer Column.” There is only so much you can say about beer without getting too technical and boring. To help remedy the situation, I came up with a plan so diabolically clever it could only have come from the likes of Dear Abbey. I invite you, my dozen or so loyal readers (thanks Mom!), to send me your beer related questions. Ask me anything about beer, brewing, going out in Boston or what have you. Perhaps you always wondered where the bubbles come from or what beer to serve with what dish. No question is too simple or silly for submission; after all, you’ll never get an answer if you never ask. If you do submit, remember that your question may be printed in this space and that I reserve the right to make fun of you if I so choose. Email your query to me at matty@hbs.edu and include your name. Once I get a few good ones, I’ll post them and my response in this space. Submissions may be posted anonymously if you wish.

Business as Usual:
While you’re thinking of the perfect question, keep an eye out for the arrival of new spring beers from local and national breweries. If you’re yearning for budding flowers and warmer weather, relief may be found at your local beer store or on tap at your favorite tavern, where several local breweries offer springtime flavors. For example, Harpoon’s new “Hibernian Ale” is an Irish-style red ale brewed especially for St. Patrick’s Day. For a lighter sensation, Sam Adams Spring Ale is a Kolsch style light ale that is supposed to match the more gentle weather that spring brings to the area. Unfortunately, Spring in New England can be just as severe as winter, and the last thing you’re looking for is a pale yellow beer with no girth when we’re hit with a blizzard in late March.
Besides uncooperative weather, the early arrival of these beers (and most seasonal beers in general) is ridiculous. Much like clothing lines, when the time arrives that they are meant to honor, they are no longer available. As an example, Harpoon’s spring beer in previous years was a Maibock. This traditional German lager, named for the month, is traditionally served in May. Harpoon however, used to release their Maibock too early and by May it was no longer available, having been replaced on shelves by their summer beer. I appreciate the sentiment but wish that brewers would improve the timing of their seasonal offerings.

February 11, 2002
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